Solving Disputes Outside of Court

What can be done when you have been wronged by a person or business? Often, people spend countless hours on the phone with customer service representatives explaining their situation over and over again and never reach a satisfactory resolution. They may be tempted to file a legal lawsuit against the person or business, but doing so can cost a lot of time and money.

Fortunately, you don’t have to give up with your quest for justice. When you feel defeated, there are other options available, and you don’t have to shell out big bucks for legal fees or wait months for a court date.

Complaint Letter

It may seem insignificant, but it is possible your problem hasn’t reached the right desk. The best thing about writing a letter is that it’s free.

There are several ingredients to a well written complaint letter and it doesn’t include ranting, sarcasm or threats. It’s very likely the person who reads your letter is not directly responsible for your problem. Don’t set yourself off on the wrong foot by being offensive. Instead, use this recipe for a more effective complaint letter:

  • Be brief and concise
  • Include your full name, address, phone number and any account number if applicable
  • Date and place of where issue occurred
  • Serial number of items or names of employees involved
  • State how you wish the problem to be solved and how long you will wait for a response
  • Copies of documents pertaining to your problem (keep the originals)
  • End the letter politely using a word such as “sincerely”
  • Keep a copy of your letter

Online Assistance

If your problem lies with a company that can be found on the internet, it may be possible to write a comment or review about the product or service that you received. Search the company’s website for a review page. Ignore the temptation to write a rude or anonymous comment. Include your email, as the company will need a way to contact you should they decide to rectify the situation.

Some websites such as Bing and Yelp publish consumer complaints. Other companies take it one step further by directly contacting the offender.

PeopleClaim.com is one such company. This website offers a free service allowing you to make a claim against any individual, company or government agency. Once your claim has been made, they will contact the offender and act as a facilitator in getting your claim heard, recognized and resolved in a time frame that you choose. If your issue is not settled to your satisfaction, peopleclaim.com leaves your claim open for the public to view and comment.

Mediation

Mediation has become a common alternative to filing lawsuits. Problems and issues can be resolved between two parties with the help of a mediator. The mediator is a neutral facilitator who uses a variety of techniques to open dialogue and keep it going between the two opposing parties until a binding agreement has been reached. Mediation can be a much quicker option as agreements can be reached in a matter of hours. However, a mediator fee can sometimes cost as much as a lawyer.

Arbitration

Arbitration might be thought of as a miniature or informal court trial. Instead of evidence being presented to a judge or jury, evidence is presented to an arbitrator who then makes a decision about your case that may or may not be binding. If it is non-binding arbitration, a suggested settlement will be offered. Often this type of resolution is utilized in commercial cases such as customer or employment issues. Similar to mediation, arbitration is often much quicker than the court system, and arbitrators are often hired based on their knowledge about the issues.

Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of when there are simple options available outside the courtroom that can make you whole and restore your peace of mind.

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